Be sure to seal heating ducts and insulate ducts running through unheated spaces. Check forced-air furnace filters regularly and clean or replace them once each month during the heating season. Be sure to shake reusable filters outside or spray them with garden hoses - then dry them before replacing.
Drapes add extra layers of insulation. Blinds can insulate, but often aren't effective. Be sure to keep your drapes closed both at night and on sunny days.
Never block registers, baseboards, radiators or cold air returns. Air
circulates both through and around them and maximizes efficiency.
Be sure to seal and insulate heating ducts that run through unheated spaces. Also check forced-air furnace filters regularly and clean or replace them each month during the heating seasons. Shake reusable filters outdoors or spray them with garden hoses. Always be sure they're dry before replacing them.
Drapes add extra layers of insulation. Blinds also insulate, but they aren't as efficient. Keep your drapes closed at night - on sunny days, but be sure to open drapes and blinds to let in the sun's free heat - especially on south sides.
Never block registers, baseboards, radiators or cold air returns. Air must circulate both through - and around - for maximum efficiency.
If installing a new system, consider shopping for a heat-pump to increase your energy efficiency. Look for the energy guide label that contains the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio), which measures efficiency during cooling seasons. Also look at the HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) which measures energy-efficiency during heating seasons. Look for 7.2 HSPF and 12 SEER or higher.
Always keep your air conditioner filters clean. They should be clean or replaced once each month during the cooling season. If you can do so safely, clean the exposed grill and spines on your outside unit. Never block window air conditioners. Make sure no objects are leaning on or directly in the path of air flowing either in or out.
Always use programmable thermostats. You only need your air conditioner or furnace to run when your home. Set timers to turn on no more than 30 minutes before you're scheduled arrival time. If you're home during the day, try reducing the use of heat-producing appliances including your oven, range, dishwasher, washing machine and dryer.
Never place lamps or televisions near your air conditioner's thermostat. The thermostat senses heat from appliances, and appliances may cause it to run longer than necessary.
Make sure your home has an appropriate amount of insulation for walls, attics and crawl spaces. Insulation is just as important in the summer as it is during the winter! It helps keep warm air outside. Seal and insulate air-conditioned ducts that run through unconditioned spaces.
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